These words brought me back to another poem about childhood, my favorite poem really in the English language, "Fern Hill," by Dylan Thomas. It's a poem about a farm and what it means to be a child, living in the moment, and how we know nothing of time.
see her. I woke up one morning. It was a beautiful summer's day and I couldn't resist a detour to the beach. All my life I've gone to Lake Michigan whenever I could and this day was no exception. I'd always found the lake restorative.
I put down my blanket, my book, a hat on my head and thought I'd relax. But I hadn't been there long with a group of children came and started playing right in front of me. I'm not sure why the rope is there. I think it was corralling them in. Anyway I couldn't resist. I had my camera with me and I got a lot of pictures. To me these children represent childhood and all its happy memories but especially those of the beach. And the innocence of these children -
their ignorance to anything that might stand between them - touched me. In many ways.
I suppose these are sentimental snaps, but no apologies. I loved these kids and for an hour or so they made me very happy. I think about them now.
They are older, walking, talking, in school. Are they still playing together on the beach today? I think of that wonderful story by Stephen Milhausseur - about the boy who doesn't want to go into the water for his first swim of the season because he senses that when he comes out of the water something - his childhood, his innocence - will be behind him.
I loved snapping pictures of these kids before they'd had that swim. I believe it was Matisse who said that he had to grow up to be a child again. Maybe that's really what an artist is. Whatever. I loved these kids and was happy taking pictures of them.
With thanks to the poets. And to these kids. Wherever they may be.